Posts filed under ‘Super Pot’
While most Farmer’s Markets are closing up shop, some of you are lucky enough to either have a garden or know someone who does. Fortunately for me, I’m in the latter group. Indeed, I just finished a myriad of ways to prepare tomatoes, all kinds.
But now being in the month of November, we are in squash mode. Many are available throughout the year but the best are from early fall through winter. Consider the Acorn, Banana Squash, Hubbard, Butternut, Spaghetti Squash, Winter Squash,…and that is just to get you started. There are others, but don’t leave out the obvious big one either…Pumpkin!
Now, with your Grillet you can highlight any and all of them in your winter menus with ease.
Keep in mind when you are cooking you want to go with what tastes great to you. Allspice, ginger and nutmeg – aka the pie spices – will balance the sweetness of a squash. For a more savory dish consider sage, cumin , curry or thyme. Think about add ins such as chopped apples, roasted pecans, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pomegranates or even chilies for a sweet and spicy combo . In addition to broths think of incorporating wine, orange juice, coconut milk or honey.
Planning for those special dinner gatherings, Thanksgiving being both obvious and almost upon us, I’ve decided on a pair of soups, one of which will be from a squash and the other from red peppers. And, if you are thinking ahead to other gatherings, these two soups not only taste great individually but as you’ll see, they present well together!
When making up this Roasted Red Pepper soup, consider such herbs and spices as thyme, bay leaves, garlic, onion. Go spicy and add a jalapeno, hot sauce or some pepper flakes. Go smooth and add a bit of heavy cream, yogurt or stir in a bit of cream cheese.
Above all remember: recipes are good guides; good cooks make it their own!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
4 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp each salt and white pepper
1/2 cup Greek style yogurt
In the inner pot of your Grillet, lightly sauté the squash and onion. Add chicken broth and nutmeg and simmer for 20 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Using an immersion blender, food processor or blender, puree until smooth. Ladle into soup bowls adding a dollop of yogurt if desired.
RED PEPPER SOUP
4 red bell peppers, diced (or two 15 oz jars roasted sweet red peppers, drained)
1 onion, diced 1 carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chicken broth 1 bay leaf ½ tsp each salt and pepper
In the Grillet, saute the red bell peppers, onion and carrot until tender. Add garlic and continue sautéing for an additional minute. Add the broth and bay leaf. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove bay leaf and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
If you choose to place both soups in one bowl, measure the same amount of each soup in two containers with pouring spouts and gently pour into bowls simultaneously.
Pot roast is one of my favorite meals and, when done properly and patiently, there really are few other meals that make me feel as American as accomplishing this task. Just like many other comfort food meals, a good pot roast cannot be rushed. The tough fibers in the chuck take time to break down and the flavors take time to meld. There are so many great pot roast recipes out there. Every family has their own either handed down or recreated by the cook in the family and that history is what makes this meal so comforting. My recipe is a compilation of all the great roasts I ever had the pleasure of eating in my family’s kitchens and my friends’ houses.
There are many vehicles used to cook a great pot roast and I have tried them all… the classic Dutch oven, the modern-day slow cooker and now the Super Pot, coming to the rescue once again to deliver a great down-home meal. The biggest advantage about using your Super Pot is that you can sear/brown and then slow cook in the same pot which makes prep, cooking and cleanup a lot easier.
The most important thing is to give this meal time to cook and of course to season liberally. For the following recipe I used a 2.5 lb chuck roast to be able to fit it in with the stock. I cooked it on low heat for about 3 hrs and the results were as good as always.
SUPER POT ROAST
2.5 lb boneless chuck roast
3 onions cut in large quarters
4 carrots peeled and cut in large pieces
4 garlic cloves
1 sprig of rosemary
2 tblsp tomato paste
10 fingerling potatoes or 4 large ones cut into quarters
1 cup red wine
5 cups beef stock
salt and pepper
Liberally sprinkle all sides of the roast with salt and pepper. Heat the Super Pot to 400 degrees and brown roast on both sides.
Add wine, tomato paste, rosemary and enough stock to cover roast about halfway. Turn heat down to 200 degrees, cover and let cook for 2 ½ hours.
Lift roast and add vegetables underneath and continue cooking until meat falls apart easily, about 30 minutes. Add remaining stock and extra water throughout the cooking process, if needed.
I am not a huge fan of cold sandwiches but throw it on the griddle and I’ll eat it faster than anyone else. I love using my Grillet for fast weeknight cooking and decided to make use of it this week as a sandwich press for one of my all time favorites. The secret to a great grilled sandwich is using weight and pressure to get really great grill marks and a uniformly crisp exterior. To do this, I used a lid from a small pot and pressed down as the sandwich squished against the hot grill, flipping the sandwich halfway through to get the grill-marks on both sides and assure the cheese was melted and all the yumminess inside was hot and bubbly.
2 long white bread buns
10 slices of thick cut ham… like the kind you may still be trying to finish up from Sunday :)
10 slices of Mortadella (or turkey or more ham)
6 slices of provolone cheese
2-3 tblsp mustard
2 tblsp butter
4 pickle slices
Heat your grill to 300 degrees F.
Cut buns lengthwise in half and spread butter and mustard on bottom half. Place ham and mortadella, folded in half for thickness if necessary, on the bread. Top with cheese, pickles and the other half of the bun and carefully place the entire sandwich on the hot griddle. Gently press on the sandwich, with a tool of your choice, increasing pressure slowly for a few minutes. Turn the sandwich over and repeat.
Slice in half and serve.
Last night was a typical busy midweek nothing-planned-for-dinner kind of a night and by the time we got home from not just one, but three separate after school activities I was desperately looking for something fast and satisfying to feed my kiddos.
Thank goodness for tortillas and cheese. Am I right? Added to the mix this time around was a few exotic ingredients that turned a plain ol’ dish into something spectacular. I paired sweet crab with a simple salsa of juicy mango and silky avocado and a new favorite was born.
CRAB QUESADILLAS WITH MANGO AND AVOCADO SALSA
For the Mango and Avocado Salsa:
1 mango, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
2 tsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tblsp olive oil
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced
salt and pepper to taste
For the quesadillas:
16 oz can of crab meat, drained
4 large flour tortillas
16 oz white cheddar cheese, grated
4 oz Cotija cheese
To make the salsa: Prepare salsa by mixing all the ingredients together, being careful not to bruise the avocado. Set aside to let flavors meld.
To assemble the quesadillas: Heat grill to 350 degrees and grill tortilla for a minute or so until warm, flip over and top with half the crab meat and half the cheddar cheese. Top with a second tortilla and press down slightly.
Check for grill marks on the bottom and turn quesadilla when desired doneness is achieved, 5 minutes or so. Grill other side until crispy and remove to a cutting board. Repeat with the next two tortillas.
Cut into wedges and serve with Cotija cheese and salsa on top.
Now, I know it’s not November quite yet but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little sweet-tart cranberry goodness on your plate. “Spicy” isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think “cranberry” but after trying these grilled (yes, grilled) meatballs you’ll understand why items like jalapeno jelly make some people go crazy. Chicken, pepper jack cheese and jalapenos are combined with a hefty handful of dried cranberries to create a balance of flavors wrapped up perfectly into poppable meatballs.
BBQ CRANBERRY JALAPENO CHICKEN MEATBALLS
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 cup pepper jack cheese
1/3 cup dried cranberries
3 jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/4 cup cranberry juice
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. Mix BBQ sauce and cranberry juice together in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a bowl until well incorporated.
Roll into 1 1/2″ balls and place on the grill. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Flip meatballs and grill an additional 1 minute.
Add 1 cup of water to the pot, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and let cook until all liquid evaporates, approximately 5 more minutes.
Check for doneness toss with BBQ sauce and enjoy!
In my household chicken is a go-to protein since it pleases all of our palates and is quick and easy to prepare. But, as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I do get tired of the eternal chicken breast and wish there was a simple way to vary the flavor and presentation of this everyday fare. I’ve dabbled with dozens of sauces and skewer variations attempting to reawaken the curiosity for this poor overeaten piece of protein but am often still often met with the “chicken again?” comment from my kids. So I did what any good cook would do… dressed this week’s chicken dinner in a nice little bacon costume and voila! A new hero was born.
BACON-WRAPPED STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
4 boneless chicken breasts, pounded flat and cut in half width-wise
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, diced
8 basil leaves
16 bacon slices
salt and pepper
Sprinkle both sides of chicken with salt and pepper. Top each with 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese, 1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes and one basil leaf.
Roll each piece into a bundle and wrap two bacon slices tightly around each bundle, securing with toothpicks if needed.
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. Grill chicken, uncovered, for 5 minutes per side or until cooked through.
I belong to a lunch group where we rotate visiting each other’s homes and the host cooks everyone lunch. This week it was my turn and although there’s nothing I like better then getting together with friends and eating some great food I had a pretty crazy week. However, thanks to my handy dandy grill and rice cooker preparing the lunch club ended up being a breeze for me and I had a great meal on the table in less than 30 minutes.
I grilled some fresh cuts of salmon to crispy perfection without any worries of the delicate fish sticking to the pan then tossed a salad of lightly steamed (this counteracts any hint of bitterness) kale with lemon oil and garlic. The meal was light and delicious… perfect for a group of moms getting together by the pool!
4 salmon fillets
coarse salt and black pepper
Brush the flesh side of your filets with olive oil and season with coarse salt and black pepper.
Preheat your grill to 350 degrees and grill fish skin side up for 7 minutes or until crisp. Flip and continue cooking until done, another 3 minutes or so.
BASIC KALE SALAD
one bunch of kale, cut in ribbons, with the toughest rib removed
2 tblsp lemon juice
2 tblsp olive oil blended
1 tsp garlic, chopped
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Fill your rice cooker with water to the min level and place kale on the steam tray. Close the lid and set for steam for 5 minutes.
Whisk together olive oil, garlic and lemon juice and set aside.
When your rice cooker beeps, remove kale and toss with dressing and cheese. Season with salt and pepper.